May 11, 2011 8:48am
Re: Looking for the Best
Wow, you just threw a big fat fast ball right in my wheelhouse. This is from a much longer piece that I call, "T right here in the Heartland": The Dead Play Ohio – 1968-1994." I've edited it down to the top shows of the 60s and 70s.
My favorite is probably 12/6/73, but 10/31/71 and 11/22/68 are also strong competitors. You should also check out 10/27/72 for the monumental Truckin> Other One> Half Step> Dew.
11-22-68 - Veterans Hall, Columbus, OH
Morning Dew, Schoolgirl, Dark Star, St. Stephen> The Eleven> Lovelight, Cryptical> Other One> Cryptical> New Potato Caboose, We Bid You Goodnight
Bill Kreutzmann was absent due to illness
The Dead’s first-ever show in Ohio and it’s only available on and audience recording that sounds like it was recorded in an empty airplane hangar. Still, it’s a fine example of the band’s raging, crusading, late-68 sound. Definitely worth a listen despite the lousy sound quality. A rare show played without Kreutzmann, who was sick that night. There were apparently only a couple hundred people there. Jerry’s Gibson echoes and slices around the arena. Dew is a revelation. Schoolgirl absolutely chain smokes, and Pig Pen is at his raunchiest. Dark Star is played fast and flawlessly – a groovy, spacey exploration that packs a lot into 11+ minutes. The opening notes of St. Stephen melt and shimmer.
What else is there to say? A classic set list, with pretty much everything you could ask for from one of the band’s best periods (except Billy). Mind-blowing stuff. The Other One> Cryptical bit is extraordinary – pure power Dead. If only there were a board of this… Even so, it’s well worth checking this one out.
Phil apparently wrote about this show in his book. Here is the quote I saw:
“We tune up the guitars, the drummers rattle off paradiddles, and Jerry counts into 'Morning Dew.' i know from the first chord that it's going to be a good night, in spite of the feedback from the PA. Jerry is on fire, his guitar snarling and caressing at the same time. the drummers are crunching out the groove as if their lives depended on it - mickey gesturing after each backbeat, and billy grimly holding the groove close to home. the tune builds to its harrowing climax; jerry screams out the final line - 'i guess it doesn't matter anyway' - and we hammer home the final chords... Jerry looks over at me, and i give him a 'way to go, man' grin. most of the time, we don't use set lists - usually whoever wants to sing a song will call it - so Pig calls 'schoolgirl' and we go from there...” (Searching for the Sound p.139)
Highlights: The whole enchilada
10-30-71 - Taft Auditorium, Cincinnati, Oh.
1: Bertha, Me & My Uncle, Sugaree, BIODTL, Loser, Playin, Tennessee Jed, Jack Straw, Big RxR Blues, Bobby McGee, B. E. Women, Saturday Night
2: Casey Jones, Mexicali, Comes A Time, El Paso, Ramble On, Sugar Magnolia, Truckin, NFA> GDTRFB> NFA E: Johnny B. Goode
Pigpen sick; K. Godchaux on piano; FM broadcast - also: NRPS
The set list may not look like much, but the boys pack a lot of excellent songs and hilarious banter into it. And great sound on this pre-FM source. They do sound a bit like they’re playing for the radio. Nice and tight. Not much extended jamming, but some really nice highlights. I had this on tape 20 years ago (must have traded widely since it was on the radio) and it still resonates really strongly with me.
Bertha comes charging out of the gate, perfectly paced. Garcia’s voice is right where it should be on Sugaree. Bob extends a “big hello to all the listeners out there in radio land.” Phil later introduces Keith to the audience in Cinci before another fine Playin (though not as good as the previous night).
“Alright, alright,” says Jerry after Playin. “You don’t have to scream at us.” This is apparently the point at which one obnoxious fan keeps requesting that they play Truckin – which he will do for the rest of the show.
Nice, but unremarkable Jed follows. Then a nice Jack Straw. Bobby tells audience members not to sit right in front of the speakers. The crowd sounds fucked up. BigRR clocks in a just under five minutes. Bobby McGee is another surprise highlight from the first set. Keith gives it this real boogie-woogie sound.
Second set starts with the radio announcers cutting back to the show as the first verse of Casey Jones is starting. Mexicali sounds freshly unwrapped from the studio. Bob says: “You see, if you’ve ever been dodging bullets in Mexico, you’ll know that you want to be in tune for the occasion.” Comes a Time is where the show really gets going--one of those transcendent Jerry songs. “Boogie freaks” will like the El Paso, as Bobby reminds us. Then Garcia comes back with: “This is one we laughingly call Rambling Rose.”
Then there’s Jerry’s answer to repeated calls to “Play Truckin’!”
Jerry starts to mess with the guy, who's probably dosed to the gills: “Come on, man, come on, man, you gotta be a cop? Is that it? ‘Play Truckin… Play Truckin’… We’ll play whatever we like… Of course that’s not saying you won’t like it. You might like it too. You might like it too. It might be alright. It might be something perfectly o-kay… What about all those people that might not like Truckin’?... Well, how about it man?”
Bobby tells the people under the balcony that, “any minute now they’re going to be dropping a whole load of live chickens on you.” Then, after Sugar Mag, we get Phil: “Okay man, this one’s for you. This is the one you’ve been waiting to hear.” Of course it’s a strong Truckin’. It has to be after all of that build-up. But they never really let loose until the NFA suite, which is probably the highlight of a show without a true jam vehicle.
Highlights: PITB, Bobby McGee (?!), Comes a Time, Truckin’, NFA>GDTR>NFA
10-31-71 - Ohio Theatre, Columbus, Oh.
1: Bertha, Me & My Uncle, Deal, Playin, Loser, El Paso, Tennessee Jed, Jack Straw, Big RxR Blues, B. E. Women, Mexicali, Casey Jones, Cumberland, Saturday Night
2: Dark Star> Sugar Magnolia, St. Stephen, NFA> GDTRFB> NFA E: Johnny B. Goode
also: NRPS - second set (minus the encore) appears on "Dick's Picks Vol 2"
Source: Set 1 and encore - http://www.archive.org/details/gd1971-10-31.sbd.miller.79011.sbeok.flac16
- Set 2 – Dick’s Picks, Vol. 2
They significantly up the ante for the Halloween show, starting off with a 14-song first set that sets up the famous second set beautifully. If you’re keeping track, they started off this mini-tour two days ago in Cleveland, then trucked all the way across Ohio diagonally to play in Cincinnati the next day, then retraced their footsteps back to Columbus--right in the middle of the other two-- to play on Halloween at this beautiful theatre.
There’s some very fun banter after MAMU, with Phil asking the audience to stop jumping down on the nice seats in the theater, and Jerry adding: “Don’t forget... Next time don’t come to those concerts where you can’t jump up and down on the seats… That’s right there’s a lesson to be learned in all of this, and maybe someday you’ll all learn it. Of course maybe not. They haven’t learned it in New York, god knows…. Someday though. Oh well, that’s another story.”
Anyway, you can see why this was a DP. What I can’t understand is why didn’t they include the first set too. Or at least the highlights. Great Bertha, MAMU, Deal. This fresh, tight version of Playin is fit for live release. This also has a beautiful Jack Straw. Jerry is so patient – sitting back and letting the groove flow. Really nice mellow jamming here. Then they connect with a series of first set jabs: BigRR – check; BEW – check; Mexicali – check.
The excitement leads to a rollicking Casey Jones, Cumberland, Saturday Night to end the first (it was actually Sunday, but they played Sat Night at all three of these shows). Cumberland and Sat Night really rip. Before OMSN Phil says, “Well this here’s a new one designed to rock you all the way out to the parking lot.” Naturally Phil’s parts are particularly spicy after making such a boast. All Sat Nights should be as hot as this four-and-a-half-minute wonder.
Of course, this show is really all about the monumental Dark Star that starts set two. I love 71 Stars, and this is really one of the best – not just of 71, but of all time. Every note, every tap of the snare seems perfectly placed. You can hear Sugar Mag coming from a mile away, and there's a tremendous tighten up jam in the middle. After a while it gets downright FUNKY. This is a Dark Star to take on a road trip, full of unrelenting energetic happy jamming.
A fine but unremarkable Stephen sets up yet another solid 1971 NFA suite. They really seem to recapture some of the earlier energy – the kind of thing that Pigpen’s big blues jams did until he got sick. At just over 10 mins, this GDTRFB is the second-longest track of the show. Transition back into NFA is super nice – a classic Jerry sound that seems like a subtle reprise of the groovy Dark Star jam.
Highlights: MAMU, Playin, Jack Straw, Cumberland, Dark Star
10-27-72 - Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, Oh.
1: Bertha, Mexicali, Loser, Jack Straw, Big RxR Blues, El Paso, Sugaree, BIODTL, B. E. Women, Box Of Rain, B. T. Wind, Tennessee Jed, Bobby McGee, Bird Song, Big River, Casey Jones
2: Greatest, Ramble On, Truckin>Other One> Half Step> Morning Dew, Tomorrow Is Forever, Promised, Deal, Sugar Magnolia E1: Uncle John E2: Saturday Night
This is really a tale of two sets. The first is a hissy SBD and an average to below average performance. The meat of the second is an audience clap-along recording, but it’s actually a hot set with a unique line-up. None of the sources at LMA are great and none include the Bird Song, Big River, Casey Jones that ended the first. There are some nice tracks in the first: Jack Straw and BigRR are carried off nicely. But most of the songs sound a little flat. Even Billy sounds off. Box of Rain sounds awful. Donna kills everything she touches. Bobby even apologizes for being tired: “We’re all punchy from lack of sleep.” There’s some other fun, self-deprecating banter.
Second set is from an AUD source, but begins with a pretty solid GSET. Jerry’s leads sound sharp and happy, and that vibe carries over in Ramble on Rose. Then the show really takes off. Somebody yells “Play Truckin,” and about five seconds later you hear the opening notes of what would become Truckin>Other One>Half Step>Morning Dew. The Truckin jam is just extraordinary, full of funky, jazzy riffs and Phil-driven grooves, and begetting a huge Other One—a powerful, great Other One that gets downright SCARY.
The crowd has no idea how to clap along anymore. By the end of the Other One, all you hear from the crowd is a lone woman who releases these blood-curling screams every now and again. I think sensing that he’s taken the crowd a little too close to the edge, Jerry eases up and turns a corner into Half Step. Take a guess how many other times they played Other One> Half Step. Try zero. It only ever happened in Columbus, and this AUD is your only chance to hear it. Half Step eventually lands in Morning Dew, capping a beautiful and unprecedented song suite. No question that that sequence is going into my permanent rotation.
From there, the recording goes back to the hissy soundboard from set 1, and the band takes it home with Tomorrow is Forever (Donna and Jerry sound really nice together!), Promised Land, Deal and Sugar Mag. Nice second set! Maybe a bit of a letdown at the end, then…WHAM! Double-encore! A nice UJB followed by the now ubiquitous Sat Night. It was Friday, but oh well… it’s a smokin version anyway.
Highlights: No question about this one: Truckin>Other One>Half Step>Dew. Tomorrow is Forever is also nice
12-06-73 - Cleveland Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Oh. (Thu)
1: Bertha, Mexicali, Loser, B. T. Wind, TLEO, BIODTL, Deal, El Paso, Row Jimmy, Greatest, China Cat> I Know You Rider, Around
2: Ramble On, Me & My Uncle, H. C. Sunshine, Big River, Dark Star> Eyes> Stella Blue E: Sugar Magnolia
I’ve visited this show more times than I can count and it has been in rotation for as long as I’ve had access to it. Being from Cleveland, I’d long heard stories about this show from other area heads – mostly about its legendary 43-minute Dark Star. Depending on your point of view, it’s either one of the freest, most exploratory Dark Stars out there, or a self-indulgent noodle fest. But Dark Star aside, this is simply another in a long line of tremendous shows from late-73, made all the better, IMHO, due to the absence of Donna G (who was off getting ready to give birth), and the quality of this SBD, which is top-notch. It’s not a perfect show. The set list is a little weird, and a few of the first set tunes sound a tad uninspired. But by the time they get to TLEO the energy jumps up a notch or two, and the show really takes off. And the highlights are all-time highlights, IMO – not simply of the show or for 73 but for all-time! Listen for Phil! His is truly the engine that drives this show. I can just imagine how his rig sounded blasting through that old auditorium.
The show starts innocently enough with a perfectly fine Bertha – nice pace, some nice jamming and some nice little Phil bombs get things going nicely, but nothing really special yet. About halfway through Mexicali it becomes apparent that Jerry took his vitamins before the show, but they’re still getting warmed up. Then, a terrific Loser, featuring a really cool laid-back solo from Jerry that starts with a run of little harmonic notes that weep off the neck of his guitar. I don’t know if that was an equipment error or what, but it sounds pretty cool to me. There’s no hurry tonight. Black Throated Wind is next, a song perfectly suited to the Cleveland post-industrial landscape. This is a nice version, with some cool piano action from Keith, spirited vocals from Weir, and some great bass fills along the way.
It’s here where the show really gets going. The rest of the first set includes some of my all-time favorite versions of these songs. This spritely TLEO is terrific. I have no idea why they ever decided to slow this song down. Keith brings a really nice saloon sound to this Deal, and Jerry’s stream-of-consciousness jamming during El Paso is boogie perfection laid down on a beautiful landscape of piano and bass. Row Jimmy (a fave of mine) is perfectly-paced and right on target – vocals, guitars and bass all in perfect synchronicity, and Jerry lays down some SICK slide. GSET simply rocks!! Easily my favorite version of this song – everything clicks: great intro, great vocals, every turn and transition is on a dime, and Jerry is possessed with the spirit of rock and roll. I’ve listened to it dozens of times, and I still have no idea where Jerry’s solos are going – but go they do!
You know something special is coming next. This might be the best China>Rider ever. I’m sure it has many competitors for the top spot (including the previous show in Cinci… Man, what an era for China>Rider!), but I don’t see how it gets much better than this. There’s been some talk recently about Bobby’s playing on this song – this version is as good as it gets. There’s a significant stretch of the transition where Bobby is utterly in command. Around and Around isn’t most people’s top choice as a set closer, but this is one of the best versions that I’ve heard. Lightning sharp rock and roll licks pouring out of Jerry’s guitar.
Ramble on Rose and MAMU get the band going to start the second. Then we get this bit of banter:
Bob: We’re fortunate tonight to have with us tonight a recruiting station for the Venutian Red Cross. It’s the gentleman over here with the big red blinking eye. If you’d just like to wander on over there and sign up…
Jerry: The who?
Bob: The Venutian Red Cross.
Jerrry: The Venutian Red Cross. Is that what that means.
Then a few moments later, Bob reminds us why we treasure these late-73 recordings so much: “Donna Godchaux’s not with us tonight. She’s home getting big and round.”
Next up is one of the best versions of Here Comes Sunshine ever performed. At nearly 16 minutes, it is also the longest, and for good reason! Jerry’s jamming in this song exemplifies everything I truly love about his style. His soloing is complex, but so precise that it sounds effortless. His playing references all kinds of American musical styles, but always sounds original, and never “put on.” You can’t play like he does and not pour a lot of emotional energy into it, and I really feel all of that culminate in this song. He pulls out more of those little harmonic tweets, then falls into a beautiful bit of fanning that moves flawlessly and drops back into this cool raunchy groove to set up the next verse, leaving me absolutely slack-jawed every time. I’ll never get tired of this track. It ends with a pretty jarring patch during the final refrain, only about 15 secs, but it’s in sharp contrast to the crisp soundboard.
So after the best HCS I’ve ever heard they bust though a quick cowboy song and then play one of the longest Dark Stars ever. No, longer does not mean better or best. Longer just means longer. Still, this one is pretty fantastic. It makes a lot of top fives for
its “contemplative” jamming and bizarre structure. It may not be the best Dark Star of the era, but it is certainly must-hear material, as there really isn't anything else like it.
The beginning of the song is never announced. It creeps up behind you, because it really starts from a Keith jam that emerges out of tuning. Usually I’m just typing away, or watering the plants or whatever, not a care in the world, when I realize that I’ve been listening to Dark Star for the last 10 minutes – and enjoying it! It’s the creeper Dark Star.
The band rides this jazzy little groove for over 40 minutes. Keith is a huge factor early, running up and down the scales with virtuoso-like quickness. Keith is clearly influenced by the great jazz pianists of the era, including Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, especially. Then Phil takes over, setting the real theme of this Dark Star – which I find in his deep, booming, feedbacky tones. It’s certainly one of the most free-form Dark Stars out there. First verse doesn’t come until the 24th minute. After the verse we get more electric space from Phil. Can’t help but think of Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman’s influence on the band at this point. The band goes almost totally silent, before opening up a spacey jam in the truest sense of the word – echoes of feedback, big booming bass chords… scary stuff. I personally LOVE the scary Dead, so I’m into it, but this part won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Space gives way to a more “call of the whales” segment – similar, but less frightening, before it settles back down into a nice Jazz Star kind of groove again. Jerry picks up the pace a bit for the final movement. The drums are back in place, and we’re back into a normal song structure again, with Keith again leading the way with his rhythmic, angular chords.
With a proper grip on reality reestablished, the darkness give way to a nice version of Eyes (theres’ another patch during the first verse, but no biggie.) Jerry is as on here as he is the rest of the night, effortlessly slicing and dicing his way through the song’s various jam cycles and into truly spacey territory, complete with Slipknot! jams and all those funky little G#min jams you could ask for (is there a name for that?). Jerry absolutely smokes his way through the last 8 minutes of this song. Another major highlight from this amazing show.
Eyes finally comes in for a landing into Stella Blue, and the highlight reel keeps on rolling. This is a great Stella. Powerful Jerry vocals and inspired playing from Phil especially. Turn this one up and bask in all its painful, brooding beauty. Sugar Mag closes this one out in style. The boys would not play another show in Ohio until 1976. And would not play another Cleveland show until 1978.
Highlights: Jimmy, GSET, China>Rider, Here Comes Sunshine, Dark Star>Eyes>Stella. Whatever you do, do not pass up this HCS.
11-20-78 - Cleveland Music Hall, Cleveland, Oh.
1: Half Step> Franklin's, Mama Tried> Mexicali, Roses, L. L. Rain, Stagger Lee, Passenger, Peggy-O, Lazy Lightning> Supplication
2: Jam> Drumz> Jam> Jack A Roe, Playin> Shakedown> World To Give> Playin> Around
last "Jack A Roe": 06-08-77  - final "World To Give"
Wild and wacky stuff here... And I'm not sure that I would have wanted to be backstage for this one. A truly unique second set, apparently the result of Bobby being sick and throwing up backstage for the first 20 mins. A happy accident? Tragedy narrowly averted? You decide. Some love this show. Some think it’s overrated. But it’s definitely worth a listen for the second set novelty factor alone – as there really is nothing else like it. It’s also taken from multiple sources which are spliced together all kinds of ways, but I don’t find it to be a big problem. The boys are back from Egypt and they’re ready to rock – except for Bobby of course… Including this one, the next five Ohio shows – through 1981 – will all be played in Cleveland’s Public Hall (Music Hall).
Half Step gets things rolling along nicely in the first set, but includes a number of sonic flaws. This is not a perfect tape by any means, but very listenable. Jerry’s pipes are in pretty good shape, and Bobby’s slide sounds nice on Franklin’s. The Mama>Mexi is pretty nice, with a solid Mexicali. Roses and LL Rain are fine. A late tape flip in LL Rain, but no big deal since I wasn’t really paying attention anyway. Stagger is mellow-steady 78 Dead at its finest, with nice slide color added by Bobby. Passenger lumbers along a little bit before Jerry finds a nice little pocket to shred in. Peggy-O really shines, featuring the two best things the band has tonight – Jerry’s vocals and fretwork. Peggy is slightly marred by an unfortunate drop out near the end. Lazy Lightning isn’t the best version I’ve heard – the “my lightning too” part is a little grating – but Supplication more than makes up for it, an energetic version that finds Jerry peering over the edge a few times.
Jam>Drumz>Jam to open the second? What is this, a Furthur show? This was clearly not the intended set list, and you can clearly hear Shakedown coming before the jam starts, but I guess they didn’t want to start it up without Weir and decided to just noodle around a bit until he got his act together. This is true Jerry-led improvisation at its finest. From the first “Jam” through the unprecedented and unrepeated Playin>Shakedown>World to Give>Playin sandwich, there is really nothing not to like. It’s really the drummers that start the jam, but it doesn’t take much prodding before Jerry is knee-deep in a PITB-style groove. Really nice stuff here. Jerry unleashed! Bob returns and Jerry tosses out Jack A Roe just for the hell of it. Hey, why not? Weir then opens up with PITB, and you can practically smell the vomit welling up inside his stomach. Still, they carry it off really nicely under the circumstances, and the PITB jam takes us right back to where this set started – unhinged, deep-space jamming led by Mr. Garcia, who really seems ready to play in the second set. Excellent transition to Shakedown and the game is on! This is really a great Shakedown. Gets all funky and stuff. Final World to Give is pretty sweet and a very random choice in this most random of sets. Too bad they retired this song.
I’m not sure if there was an encore at this show or not, or whether Around is the encore. This show made it into the vaunted Top 64. I'm not sure I think it belongs there, but it surely is must-hear material.
Highlights: Peggy-O, Supplication, Entire second set
11-29-79 - Cleveland Public Hall, Cleveland, Oh. (Thu)
1: Alabama> Promised, Candyman, Mama Tried> Mexicali, TLEO, Minglewood, Easy to Love You, BE Women, LL Rain> Don’t Ease
2: Shakedown> Samson, High Time, Estimated> Eyes> Orbital jam> Drumz> Black Peter> Around> Johnny B. Goode E: U. S. Blues
Brent Mydland’s first show in Ohio, so I’m sure he was pretty excited! Haha no… but this is a pretty hot show, even measured against the other shows during the fall 79 tour – a good one to be sure. The first really solid tour with Brent. And this is a particularly good quality soundboard. The levels sound perfect, and Phil is nice and loud. Another victory for Charlie Miller and Deadheads everywhere.
There is some confusion about the first set. Normally I take the set lists from deadbase, but in this case I have not found a source that includes Althea. The Miller version sourced above includes Candyman but not Althea.
Here is the list from deadbase:
Alabama> Promised, TLEO, Mama Tried> Mexicali, Althea, Easy To Love You, Minglewood, B. E. Women> L. L. Rain> Don't Ease
Notice that Minglewood has also moved. However, during Minglewood Bobby clearly says “and it’s T for New York City,” so I don’t know if he fucked up, or if that’s from a different show. One clue is that there seems to be some sort of drop-out just before that “New York City” line. It goes right from the middle of a Jerry jam to that line. On the other hand, ChinaRider tells me that Bobby usually said NYC during that period – despite occasionally personalizing the lyric to fit the city (he said “San Diego” in San Diego, 11/23).
Deadbase also lists the second set as Drums> NFA> Black Peter, although I can’t find NFA in any of the available sources. Moreover, Peter seems to really come out of drums/space, so I don’t know how that ever got into the setlist.
All of this leaves me with questions..
In any case, I’m reviewing the Miller list. Alabama Getaway was still a new song (this is the 7th-ever version) and they sound very tight – much tighter than the Promised that follows, which is hilariously bungled by Weir & Co. Still, they manage to have fun with it. Candyman is nothing special but nice and well-palyed, and the cowboy combo of Mama>Mexi is spritely and fun. Bobby says “T here in New York City” during Minglewood, even though it’s Cleveland. What’s up with that? Was that standard then or a fuck-up? Either way, it’s a pretty good Minglewood, followed by my least favorite Brent song – Easy to Love You. Happily, they follow with a great Brown Eyed Women – the set one highlight so far. Jerry really sounds authentic on this number tonight. The segue into LLR features synth-laden wind sounds and other garbage for a perfectly serviceable version. Don’t Ease wraps things up.
Shakedown gets things started in a big funky way to lead off a big pre-drums. This is a song where Brent really shined, and this one is certainly no exception. A flawless version, with an impressive segue in Samson, which was a pretty typical combo in late-79. (Woah… got distacted there for 20 mins or so playing guitar along with the High Time, Esti-Eyes part. Had to keep backing up to make sure I was getting the Estimated bridge intro right (right after “they gonna light my waaaaaaayyyyyhaaaay”! Can’t quite keep up with Jerry during the hyper-speed Eyes. I humbly bow before the noodling master.)
Anyway, excellent High Time – poignant and emotional. Classic Jerry. This is as good an Estimated>Eyes as you will hear from this era. The sheer athleticism involved in playing like that for that long is what’s most impressive here. Not the first time I’ve been impressed by their endurance, but Jerry is really a thing to behold during this version of Eyes. This is as good a pre-drums as you will see anywhere. Eyes is over 20 mins, but much of that is pre-drums sonic breakdown – I think it’s what some of y’all call “Orbital Jam.” This segues into a nice little Egyptian-drum-led jam with Jerry/Brent to lead us into Drums proper, which is very good and should not be skipped.
Post-space is kinda short, but also somewhat unusual and is pretty good too. Peter out of drums is nice. The beginning of Around is kind of jarring, but rocks appropriately. JBG features some hot, hot solos from Brent and Jerry both – showmanship very much on display here. In a sign of the times, during US Blooz encore Jerry says “Shah of Iran” instead of “Charlie Chan." All-in-all a very good show and better, I think, than the highly-praised 11/20/78 show – albeit more conventional.
Highlights: Strong overall first set, but this is the stuff - Shakedown> Samson, High Time, Estimated> Eyes> Jam> Drums
This post was modified by snow_and_rain on 2011-05-11 15:48:47